Radebe and Mantashe: No planned changes to Constitution

2014-01-12 14:00

ANC policy head Jeff Radebe said the priority of the ANC was not to change the Constitution, but to make major changes in the economy.

He said the ANC had ended “the first phase of the transition” by bringing about political democracy, and was changing tack to realise “the economic emancipation of our people”.

“Right now it is not our objective (to change the Constitution). Our objective is to make sure that the things we put in this manifesto must radically shift the economy gradually towards the hands of South African people as a whole. The economy right now, in terms of the fundamental structure, is still in the hands of whites and males. These measures we are putting in place is to shift that balance,” he said.

Speaking to party supporters in KaNyamazane on Tuesday President Jacob Zuma said the party needed a two-thirds majority “to change certain things that could not be changed”, and took a swipe at those who spoke loudly in defence of the Constitution.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe earlier told City Press that the party was not planning to change the Constitution, and that such a proposal was not in the manifesto.

“The ANC is not sitting somewhere in the corner wanting to change the Constitution. Up to now that Constitution has been amended 18 times. Nobody noticed it. Amending the Constitution to enable the government to work is normal.

“When you have a two-thirds majority that exercise is easier. When you don't have it you have to lobby other parties to support that amendment. So I don't think we are sitting her and plan to go for the constitution, change it, amend it and bring something new.

“Our constitution is a good constitution by the way. I was making an example that if you go to the ANC manifesto, you are not going to find the ANC in a hurry to change the Constitution.

“You get that in opposition parties actually who will talk about the electoral system that must be changed. It is the opposition parties who aspire to change the Constitution. That's not how the ANC works. But if the amendment that will be effected to facilitate the delivery of services that is a necessary amendment that will have to be effected.”

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